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Eyeline: Where an actor is looking on camera—as if there were a straight line between your eyes and what you’re looking at. (i.e. “Where’s your eyeline?”)
The camera needs to see your eyes. Your eyeline is the imaginary line between your eyes and the thing you’re looking at. Keep your eyeline right beside the camera, and don’t look directly into the camera lens unless you are looking at and speaking directly to the audience. Especially for auditions always choose your eyelines before you start acting, and use real physical objects in the room. Placing eyelines in midair doesn’t work on camera. If there are two people or objects in your scene you can place one on each side of the camera, but be specific.
PRACTICE: Choose an object at eye level to be your “camera” (a tape mark on the wall, desk lamp, light switch, etc.). Practice speaking to an eyeline 8-10 inches to the side of the camera, and then to an eyeline 8-10 inches to the other side of the camera, without ever looking into the camera lens. If you have the opportunity to practice with an actual camera (SLR, smartphone, handycam, webcam, anything will do) then tape your practice and watch it back. Focus on the exercise, don’t get distracted by the way you look or the way your voice sounds. The sooner you get used to watching yourself, the more useful this very powerful practice tool will be for you.
Download the Confidence on Camera Handbook by Biz Studio Head Coach Michael Bean